INDIANAPOLIS — Lots may be written or said about how the next punter of the Indianapolis Colts has some big shoes to fill, thanks to Pat McAfee.
But Jeff Locke, whom the Colts signed on Friday, has let some solid numbers throughout his career do his talking for him. And you can bet he hopes to do the same in Indy.
Locke, a left-footed punter, was the first non-Colts player during the league's free agency period to sign with the team and new general manager Chris Ballard, and he comes to the squad after spending the first four years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings.
While with the Vikings, Locke played in 64 games and kicked 290 punts for 12,535 total yards — an average of 43.2 yards per punt, with a net average of 38.7. He's had 101 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, has boomed 81 kicks 50-plus yards, and registered a career-best 72-yard punt last season.
He leaves Minnesota as the Vikings' career leader in net punting average, and is fourth in franchise history in punts downed inside the 20-yard line and is fourth in gross punting average. That's really saying something considering the Vikings played home games outdoors for a couple seasons while their new home, U.S. Bank Stadium, was being built.
And what about that whole "replacing McAfee" thing? Well, as many know, being an NFL punter means you're in a fraternity, and Locke was sure to wish McAfee all the best a few weeks back, when he announced his retirement from the NFL to pursue a career in the entertainment industry:
Also, you still want some attitude from the punter position? Locke appears to bring that, too:
Without further ado, here are some of Locke's better punts over the past few seasons, including two 70-plus-yard boots, as well as a video of his punts against the Colts last season in Minnesota:
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